The Halkidiki Olive
The Halkidiki is delicious, besides being fun to say: (Hal-KEE-dah-kee). This olive originated in a region of Macedonia, Greece and be cured a few different ways. Also, a certain size range qualifies them for the new title - Atlas Olive.
- Typically grown in the region of central Macedonia in Greece, where it got its name. The Halkidiki can also be found in Kavala, Imathia & Magnesia prefectures to name a few.
- With an intermediate growth cycle, typically Halkidiki Trees begin to fruit in their fourth year. The tree has a low yield productivity and total crop size, because the variety alternates from year to year.
- Halkidikis are harvested beginning in the middle September and are finished no later than the end of October.
- This olive can be cured in a few ways. First and most common is treating them with caustic soda (lye) for a period of 12-15 hours, where they are then put into a three-phase wash. The washing begins with fresh water, while removing caustic soda. The tank is drained, and refilled with fresh water for another 8 hours. This process is repeated until all traces of lye are gone. Once approved, olives are place in tanks of sea-salt brine for fermentation.
- A less common method would be for the olives to be cured in just a brine solution with both citric and ascorbic acid. The fermentation time usually takes around 3 months. This method gives the olive a distinctly different flavor.
- The Halkidiki is an elongated, slightly asymmetric olive with a pointed apex and a nipple present.
- The olive can vary in color from yellow, which is undesirable, to straw and light, golden green.
- Sizes can vary greatly with the largest fruit at 70/kg. and as small as 320/kg. The preferred size never exceeds 110/kg. Sizing between 70-90/kg. is often referred to as an Atlas Olive.
- As for flavor, the Halkidiki is briny with a pleasant sour taste. In the case of curing with citric and ascorbic acid, the olive takes a much more acidic flavor; too often this just overwhelms the flavor of the flesh. Both fermentation methods produce a firm olives with a yielding bite.
Pairings & Recipe Ideas:
- Cheese pairing: Manchego, feta
- Red Roasted Tomatoes
- Greek Green Olive Tapenade
- Roasted Garlic & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Olives
Did You Know...
- Halkidikis are the most common Greek olive to stuff!
- The region of Halkidiki is the birthplace of the famous philosopher Aristotle.